Three years ago, Dylan Fleming (MFA '18) left his hometown of Tickfaw, Louisiana and walked onto a stage in New York City with nothing but his dream of becoming an actor. He stood and delivered his monologue in the annual audition for the University Resident Theater Association, where dozens of colleges and universities listen to potential students in an effort to discover rising stars for their theatre programs.

Representatives from schools all over the country were impressed with Fleming’s performance and offered him the opportunity to join their programs. But when he got the call from The Catholic University of America to pursue its Master of Fine Arts program, he knew what his next step would be.

“When I looked at the Department of Drama at CUA, I really liked the opportunities they offered,” said Fleming. “But it was only when I got there that I realized how dramatically the classes, direction, and people I met would change the trajectory of my acting career.”

The program at the University helped Fleming discover new ways to explore the depth of characters he portrayed, to expand his knowledge of voice projection and diction and to help him make connections with local theater communities.

“Just having Catholic on my resume has started conversations that led to connections,” he said. “So many people who work for theaters around D.C. worked at Catholic or graduated from Catholic. It has opened doors I never even knew existed.”

Since moving to D.C., Fleming has made a name for himself in local theater. In 2017 he performed in As You Like It with Prince George’s County Shakespeare in the Parks. This past February he played Shields Green in Theater Alliance’s production of The Raid, then The Crucible at Olney Theatre Center, and he just finished A Midsummer Night’s Dream, also with Shakespeare in the Parks.

“Everyone back home has been so supportive and encouraging of my career, especially my mom and my brother,” he said. “When I started to get homesick I would call them almost every day and they would tell me to stick it out and I’m thankful I did.”

Despite missing the warm Louisiana climate, Fleming plans to stay in D.C. and continue to build his already growing acting career in the region.

“As an actor, auditioning is my job, getting the role is just a bonus,” he joked.